Thursday, December 03, 2009

H1N1 Swine flu virus - what about those healed?

What's happening with all the people that had swine flu and don't have it anymore?

TV reports daily about the increase and increase of people infected. It just goes on and on, but what about those not infected any more?

The kid of a friend of mine had it. She is totally OK now, TV didn't mention anything.

Maybe there are only a few thousand that still have the flu, maybe it's all cool and nobody is telling us.

A few days ago the French TV media line was that there were very few people showing up to get their vaccines. They showed schools with only 10% people showing up. They showed other places ready to get their vaccines but nobody attending.

Since then the Minister of Heath seemingly got her self vaccinated on TV (was it really a vaccine), the TV media line has changed to promote the howling success of the vaccine and the two recent deaths were specifically announced as being people that haven't been vaccinated.

Can someone do a count of how many people are cured? I know of 1 at least.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

H1N1 - Swine Flu remedy?

The daughter of a friend of mine was diagnosed with swine flu some days ago. I was pretty concerned and asked her immediately what she was doing about it.

Her daughter had high fever for several days and was told to wear a facemask and to take Doliprane.

Aside from that I asked what the doctor had told her to do. As far as I know doliprane is a painkiller and as such doesn't actually fight the virus much. She (the girls mother) told me that the doctor told her to give orange juice and kiwis to her daughter for breakfast as they contain C vitamin.

That was it. NOTHING MORE!!!

I was shocked. What about telling her to take C Vitamin? What about the classic flu/infection remedy of taking garlic? What the hell!? Just Doliprane and wait?!

This is sick. Obviously if someone has a virus for several days the natural immune system of the person is fighting the disease, it needs to be helped with elements that make the immune system stronger.

So why in the world does this MD just say "pain killers"?

I'm not even going to get started on the whole hype around the swine flu, frankly I think it's massive media hyperbole and drug companies need something to boost their economy. The French government has already spent upward of 1 billion euros to finance an untested drug.

Wow that's the best "beta product" I have seen released on the market. So what, after many failures we'll see "version 1.0" and then it's another few billions?


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Exxon, Shell and Fortune 500

global-fortune-500On my return from holiday I bought Fortune magazine to read on the 4 hour train ride from south of France to Paris. It's first time I buy the mag and I actually enjoyed it. It changes from the usual bad-news/gossip mags that are out there.

But when going through the global list of fortune 500 companies I was slightly taken aback.

The number one company for profits in 2008 was Exxon Mobil? Hold on a second, I must have read wrong. We had an oil crisis in 2008, the price of crude oil skyrocketed. Low-cost airlines went broke across the world due to skyrocketing gas prices. People were left without jobs, travelers were left around the world needing to pay new flight tickets. And I could go on about the problems the oil crisis. exxon-logo

Yet what am I reading... that Exxon Mobil had the highest ever profits in their history AND not only that, it seems they beat the records for profits of any American company.

Wow, that's slightly disturbing. It's just against any concept of exchange, value for money or service that I know of. If the price of crude goes up, it is understandable that the price to the consumer would raise. But the price of crude went up to about $151 in 2008. It then went back down to $67 today.

That change hasn't been turned over to the consumers.

Now I went through the list of global 500 companies and find the oil companies all over it. It's OK that they make a lot of money and we all heard the story of the Black Gold. The next surprise... Shell is the biggest company in the world!

In fact Fortune's editor puts a little comment "America's Exxon Mobil remains the most profitable company, with income last year of $45.2 billion. In fact, last year's high oil prices allowed global energy companies to dominate this year's list, capturing 7 of the top 10 slots." 

Shell logo

It's a little sad to see that while the world is struggling to find solutions for the incredible pollution problem, for the low economy and incredible job losses.

And in the back of that the oil companies (which make or break many industries since they all rely on oil) are racking in the profits on their backs!

As a Scientologist there is one fundamental datum that is taught again and again. It's the concept of exchange, to always give slightly better service or product than one has received exchange for. I have always lived with that concept and apply it on my work all the time. The results speak for themselves. The companies I work with are all turning around their sales in an otherwise difficult year.

It seems oil companies could learn from these concepts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

French human rights

France claims to be the originators of human rights with their Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen which was issued after the revolution in 1789.
The document is good but incomplete. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as issued by the United Nations after second world war was more complete and covered more rights.
However that the French would claim being the center point of human rights is a bit odd. This is a country that is so anti-religion that muslims can't wear their head-scarves in school. Where the President gets critisized for having spoken to the Pope on his last visit to France (because he is mixing religion and government), where a politician gets heavily attacked in the media because he met with an actor who is also a Scientologist.
How can a government take a religion to court and try to disband it because someone claims there have been mistakes done?

Here is where the simple concept of human rights simply does not exist in that country. Freedom of thought, freedom of beliefs? Where did that go?

It seems some people think they respect human rights because they don't torture people and that's about it. Or that they respect human rights because they don't condone slavery. Ok, well let's pat them on the back for that. Now what about the rest of the points?

With the faith in communism and other "socialistic" systems fading more and more countries are electing more and more right wing governments. I am neither for nor against that, but if the people aren't well educated in human rights the chances are these governments will eliminate them.

The French method of taking it to the streets isn't the solution to everything. Education and integrity will help on the longer run.

My conclusion is that we need to educate ourselves, our children, our neighbours and with that education demand our governments stick to these rights. They can fool the ignorant but not those that know.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who killed Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson probably died of medical drugging overdose. But before he started taking medecine to overcome his problems someone or something probably drove him down enough to need to take that route.

In 2003 Michael Jackson allowed Martin Bashir into his ranch, his life and basically everything. He allowed him to film everything, he talked about everything and aside from minimizing the plastic surgery operations, he kept no secrets.

That's a pretty bold move by Michael Jackson - not many stars let a journalist into their lives to such an extent. I mean you probably wouldn't let anyone that close to your life.

If you haven't seen the videos or don't know what I am talking about, I am embedding the first in a series of video interviews that Martin Bashir did entitled Living with Michael Jackson.

There are 10 videos in the series. In these videos Martin Bashir twists facts a la Mad City making great conversations into media spectacle and in the end making Michael Jackson look like a perverted weirdo that would fit with the media line - Wacko Jacko.

How much he twisted these facts comes to life when one watched "Living with Michael Jackson, take two" a follow up documentary made from Michael Jackson's own recordings of the Martin Bashir interviews... a totally different story and a totally different Martin Bashir.

When someone who has been shut off to media for decades, finally opens up and decides to give the media and thus the world, gets stabbed in the back like that, it's a cut that goes deep.

And the audience, who has been dying to get any information about Michael Jackson for year, now is finally given a whole lot of twisted viewpoint making their idol look like pedophile weirdo.

It's no wonder he then secluded himself even further. Following that the drugs became a necessity and a "solution" to avoid the real world and from there it's a matter of very little before he hits the bottom.

It's a misuse of human rights, the right to freedom of speech that give journalists the power to say anything and turn it in any way. But with the internet maybe that right will be taken from them and given to the people that can find out for themselves and separate fact from fiction and truth from opinions.

Friday, July 03, 2009

For human rights... 17th July

On 17th July bloggers from the whole world are going to unite and blog for Human Rights.

It's a cause I believe in. If everyone knew their rights and knew them well (and I am the first to say I could know them better) we would not be finding ourselves in situations like we do.

Human Rights exist, they are based on common sense, they should be made known and put to use!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Scientology in France

Scientology has this court case going in France. It's annoying as a Scientologist to see someone working at religions again.

Then again that's a bit of French history repeating itself isn't it. Its understandable that there is a bit of a bitter aftertaste in the mouth of some French when one goes through history and what some religions have done to minority groups.

But we're in the 21st century... people have learned to think now and to look and observe (well most have I'm excluding those rabid fanatics that spend most of their time on the internet destroying lives).

Well anyways, back to the post: Scientology in France, the Court case? well really how can one ban a religion? It's a pretty silly thing to even think. It's like banning an idea, so what's next the Thought Police?

Whatever happens - the idea grows as long a people believe it and find truth in it.

Scientology just happens to be going through a very stabilizing phase called the Golden Age of Knowledge where all the basic texts of the religion have returned to their originals plus hundreds of additional lectures released to go with it.

Scientolgists understand and apply it much more.

So... it's not really about to go too far.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The future of Wikipedia?

I've often had my doubts on the value of the Wikipedia. And yet I often find myself using it when searching for information.

My doubts on it's validity started when I saw the text on Scientology. Some true some false but constantly changing and often to the worse. In fact the whole page is quite slanted and really doesn't give a full factual view of Scientology. It's just not really what one would expect from a source that is meant to have some authority. Somehow after reading the article one would expect to have an overview of the subject. The plus and the minus equaling out and in the end being able to make up one's own mind.

What has always had me rather skeptical was how could people who randomly consider themselves experts on a subject decide to update an entry. Sure they have to base it on facts but "facts" are so easily made up.

Unfortunately this affects the dream of the web 2.0 encyclopedia.

I believe in web 2.0 and I have loved it since it started. But it works as long as nobody claims to be an authority on a subject. A blog is perfect, it's an opinion and most people can make the difference between a fact and an opinion.

An encyclopedia can't be web 2.0 its just against the whole concept. Its like calling a meeting with a thousand people and doing a dictionary with them. "The definition of the word computer is:..." and a thousand answers later we have a useless mess or something that is 168 definitions long and equally useless.

If someone were to start an article about me and decide to "factually" spread a bunch of crap about me, dig out somethings I did when I was a teenager and focus on that, I guess I wouldn't be happy. And then when I edit it I am banned from the site because it then becomes slanted? Wait a minute - who is slanted here?

Well the wikipedia has a future and in my opinion it will go either of two ways:
(a) crash and burn and the articles become more and more slanted or
(b) like any encyclopedia, they will need to hire scholars and professionals and get all their facts verified and edited before they publish them.

I hope they take the latter, because it does have some value that everyone in the world can propose articles and we could create a massive encyclopedia that would be much bigger than anything ever done before.

PS: BTW if you really want an honest view of what Scientology is, find a Scientologist and take him/her out for a coffee and find out all about it. Then read a book and make your own opinion. But that will be the subject of another post at another time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scientology goes to court in France

Scientology is being sued in France by a woman who claims that the religion has been manipulating her and pressuring her to pay large sums after having been offered a free personality test. The case is against the entire church of Scientology - the belief.

I don't know the details of the court case and am getting more facts on that. But looking at the information I do find, it seems like a pretty ordinary "case" against Scientology.

The scenario goes something like this.
1. Find something about a group that the general public wont understand.
2. Publicize it as the standard thing of that group and give it an angle of evil and bad intent.
3. General public who doesn't have the time to study up on it for real will believe what he hears.
4. Roll out with "evidences" if you can't find any, look for unhappy former members and get their interviews. In most cases for a bit of money or some status reward.

Voila you have a "good" case. Add a bit of controversy, money and big names and you even have a news story! It's not that hard.

In fact there was a TV Program on M6 (French TV station) called "EnquĂȘte exclusive" it depicted the story of Senegalese salesmen under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on tourist locations in Rome and on street stands in New York or elsewhere around the world. Per that piece of journalistic wonder these "salesmen" are part of a "very organized" religion in Senegal and that part of all the money made by these "salesmen" goes to the head of that religion.

The connection between the religion and these salesmen is dubious. The evidence on screen is a bunch of people praying in a medium to small sized, dropping coins in a bag and a few doller bills in a box. Right after that claims are made that "Religion and Business are mixed here" shortly after a member of the church is interviewed who says that any believing member would give everything he had to the church.

And with that and a few more images which the narrator clearly tinges with his opinions, the "investigation" links the street salesmen to a religious group. The street salesmen seemingly being the "money machine" for the religion.

But when you look just about 1 nanometer under the surface - that is what the narrator is saying based on no fact. Unless putting a few coins in a donations bag is part of a secret financial system of a mysterious religion of Africa...

Well back to Scientology now. The court case is about someone who claims Scientology is an extortion and took their money by force. Well if Scientology really did that and if that really was part of the religion it would long since have ended and people (not the justice system) would have shut down the religion long ago.

Could it be that someone (i.e. the media) is only listening to what they want to hear? Could it be that there is something more to Scientology than money? and that the donations made to the church are actually valid donations with a valid purpose?

Could it be that people donate because they truly are feeling spiritual enlightenment?

For some info from the Scientology site in France there is a link here: it is all in French but could be of use if you want to hear some background info to what the news says.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Financial Crisis, a great way to justify ineffectiveness

I hear about the Financial crisis all the time, it's a bit tiring after all these month.

And now fellow employees are telling me that the reason for less sales is the Financial crisis - that is when I realize how much the media actually manages to dupe the population.

Steve Jobs had a great thing to say about that once:

"A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."
Steve Jobs

The fact of the matter is that the financial crisis is a great way to explain to everyone that one is ineffective at conceiving a good product, producing it in a high quality and then marketing it and selling it. And this works for anyone on any job. If one is a great cleaner and cleans better than the rest one will be able to sell his product.

Despite the crisis there are still 6 billion people out there and they need products every day. Whether the banks have money or not they will want to buy those product even those considered a luxury!

Where I work we sell luxury goods and we're breaking all records month after month. Why? The product is great, the price is high but competitive and we market the product, people come in droves and they love it!